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Thread: Identification and operation of this setup

  1. #1
    DIY Junior Member harivney's Avatar
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    Default Identification and operation of this setup

    I'm a dummy homeowner and would appreciate some help identifying the setup in the picture at http://img585.imageshack.us/img585/9899/p1010016fr.jpg and answer some questions about future repair or replacement.

    I believe that the tanks are 9x48 with autotrol 155s. Water source is a well in Florida. They are around 20 years old and still seem to work without any maint except I put a new timer and some valve plungers on one.

    I think the tank next to salt container is for iron and based on what I have read probably has green sand in it because I add potassium permanganate (not as often as I should) to the small round tank between the two units.

    A service tech told me I need new resin but the water is not hard to me. I will get it tested as I sensed the tech was a ripoff artist (more to this story)

    - 2 people live in house. How often should iron unit regenerate? Should it run before or after salt regen?
    - Does the resin slowly degrade and ultimately just not soften the water at all. Or is it something that either works or doesn't work?
    - Does green said wear out?
    - Do the tanks last forever?
    - Assuming that at some point in time, I will have problems with the autotrols and 20+ years on the resin and greensand, would it make more sense to buy a new setup or just repair and re-bed as needed ?
    - Are all bypass valves standard dimensions - meaning will existing plumbing attach to bypass valves regardless of mfg (autrol, fleck, etc)
    - Is there a one-tank solution for both iron and softening or are two tanks necessary with iron in well water?
    thanks in advance for any help.

  2. #2
    DIY Senior Member mialynette2003's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by harivney View Post
    I'm a dummy homeowner and would appreciate some help identifying the setup in the picture at http://img585.imageshack.us/img585/9899/p1010016fr.jpg and answer some questions about future repair or replacement.

    I believe that the tanks are 9x48 with autotrol 155s. Water source is a well in Florida. They are around 20 years old and still seem to work without any maint except I put a new timer and some valve plungers on one.

    I think the tank next to salt container is for iron and based on what I have read probably has green sand in it because I add potassium permanganate (not as often as I should) to the small round tank between the two units.

    A service tech told me I need new resin but the water is not hard to me. I will get it tested as I sensed the tech was a ripoff artist (more to this story)

    - 2 people live in house. How often should iron unit regenerate? Should it run before or after salt regen?
    Depending on the amount of iron and other impurities.
    - Does the resin slowly degrade and ultimately just not soften the water at all. Or is it something that either works or doesn't work?
    It may caues low flows as well. When it goes bad, it packs causing a restriction of water flow.
    - Does green said wear out?
    Yes.
    - Do the tanks last forever?
    No. The sun will take it's toll on the tanks over time.
    - Assuming that at some point in time, I will have problems with the autotrols and 20+ years on the resin and greensand, would it make more sense to buy a new setup or just repair and re-bed as needed ?
    Start new. Rebuilding sometimes cost as much as a new unit. Besides, a metered softener is better than a timered one.
    - Are all bypass valves standard dimensions - meaning will existing plumbing attach to bypass valves regardless of mfg (autrol, fleck, etc)
    No. You would need to replace the bypass if you select a different mfg.
    - Is there a one-tank solution for both iron and softening or are two tanks necessary with iron in well water?
    thanks in advance for any help.That depends on what is in the water. A little iron and hardness can be removed with just a softener whereas if you have sulfur than 2 units are needed.
    These units are on the endangered species list. Parts are becoming harder and harder to find.

  3. #3
    Water systems designer, R&D ditttohead's Avatar
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    Name:  a155.jpg
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    Mialynette said it perfectly.

    Wow, those are some well used systems.

    You are correct, Autotrol 155's, very durable and long lasting valves. Greensand (common 20 years ago) and traditional salt softener.

    Replace, they have served their duty well. It is time to update.

    To determine if the system can be replaced by a single tank design and perform as well, we would need an updated water report.

    Please make your electrical to code, that is not a safe installation.

    Do not attempt to use the bypasses, they almost always fail when used. That bypass was a terrible design.

    Be aware that when replacing the Autotrol valves, most valves inlet/outlet are reversed to the Autotrol.
    Last edited by ditttohead; 05-08-2013 at 08:56 PM.

  4. #4
    DIY Junior Member harivney's Avatar
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    Mialynette and Dittohead,
    Thank you for your clear and concise answers. After I get water test results, I'll revisit the question if a single tank solution will work.

  5. #5
    DIY Junior Member harivney's Avatar
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    Here are the raw well water specs. 2 adult household. What system would you recommend. I'm leaning towards 2- 9X48 5600 flex (one resin, one green sand) because the potperm feeder was rebuilt (new float and felt looking thing) and the potperm solution has met our needs with autorol 155.

    Raw water:
    Ph - 7.4
    TDS - 200
    hardness - 85.5
    Iron - 1.0
    Iron - bacteria - not tested
    Manganese - nd (not detected)
    Copper - nd
    Nitrates - nd
    sulfides - pos )positive
    Tannins - nd

    Is the 5600 Flex solution good enough or are there better options? Thanks for your help.
    Last edited by harivney; 11-01-2013 at 12:00 PM.

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